Writers of All Genres: Get Back to Basics and Get a Reality Check

No matter what genre we write in,  most of us struggle at certain points with motivating ourselves through writer’s block and the revision process.

When we find ourselves languishing, often it’s time to start considering the basics again. Even an experienced writer sometimes loses focus. Reading a simple writing guide may help with refreshing our memories about why we went into writing and what we really like about it.

There are a few books I recommend that have a particular motivational purpose when you are down in the dumps. They can get you on the right track, writing again. Most of them were written long ago, and I consider them classics.

The 28 Biggest Writing Blunders (And How to Avoid Them), by William Noble, is for anyone who writes.  It is simply written, and gets you thinking clearly about producing solid work with good stylistic elements that an editor will respect.

Noble’s book, Show, Don’t Tell: A Writer’s Guide is a good writer’s primer that reiterates the slogan that writing workshop leaders preach. Noble clearly shows writers how to write descriptively, using such devices as anecdotes to entertain readers.

John Jerome’s book, The Writing Trade: A Year in the Life, is great for magazine and book writers, among others. It’s filled with tips on writing effectively and gives helpful personal perspectives on  keeping your nose to the grindstone.

Donald Morison Murray, a Professor Emeritus of English and journalist, authored Write to Learn. This is especially helpful for aspiring journalists, giving them a lot of courage.  Another book he wrote, Writing for Your Readers: Notes on the Writer’s Craft from The Boston Globe, is not only for journalists, but other non-fiction writers, too.

An instructive book by Dona J. Hickey is Developing a Written Voice. It helps you get your thoughts on paper clearly and with style. After reading this book, you’ll feel as if you’ve taken a writing seminar.

Arthur Plotnik’s, The Elements of Authorship is an entertaining one on the rough road to being an author. By reading his book, you’ll feel like you have a writer- friend to commiserate with. You’ll learn not to lose your sense of humor through the long process to publication.

The above books offer us all a reality check. They are the type of books you’ll reread many times during your writing career.

Copyright 2012 by Charlotte Digregorio.

About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of seven books including: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu by Charlotte Digregorio." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
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1 Response to Writers of All Genres: Get Back to Basics and Get a Reality Check

  1. snowbirdpress says:

    Hi, Charlotte, I’ve just been going through my library (which I think I will do every year from now on!) and I’m discoverying some old favorites. When I got “Writing Without the Muse: 50 Beginning Exercises for the Creative Writer” by Beth Baruch Joselow fromStory Line Press in 1996 it didn’t seem to be needed and I tucked it in the back of my shelf… my problem at that time was I had too much to follow and I was filled with the “muse”… Today, as I am looking for new ways of expressing things, new paths to avoid becoming jaded by the same path every day (my surroundings have become much less stimulating of late) I find this book very interesting indeed. It’s not that I a missing my “muse” it’s just that my “muse” wants something more from me and I’m trying to find it.
    Thanks for your columns…. great points to ponder. Merrill

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